PICTER: “At Picter, we believe that every photo competition/contest has its own proper audience. . . “
TZ: What those audiences (i.e., aspiring photographers) have in common is that, absent informed and authoritative advice about the disposition of their work, after submission, they’re sitting ducks for exploitation by the sponsors of such contests.
If these audiences of photographers have no professional ambitions, that’s another story. But they’re still set up as suckers, if they have any talent at all.
Name the “world’s leading photography organizations” that support your efforts to promote “open calls.” Even if it were nominally true, they would include very carefully articulated proscriptions about submissions with any such endorsement.
PICTER: “These organizations also support photographic talent to help them reach a broader audience.”
TZ: I’ve heard that one before. No established photography trade group would support the idea of exchanging copyright for the false promise of reaching a broader audience. That is singularly the worst proposition one can make to an aspiring photographer. I promise you — and them, categorically — that no such exposure will lead to paying work in the future. It will lead to more “broad exposure” of photographs submitted by the next group of suckers who give away their photos for free to the same contest promoters.
Once you establish your fee as free, that’s what it will be, full stop, no matter how talented a photographer you are.
There’s a difference, by the way, between the kinds of “contests” you describe and an adjudicated competition, juried by established photography academics and professionals; and whereby the resulting submissions are not subject to unpaid publication. The winners receive cash awards. The “losers” get their photos returned unpublished and without relinquishing any of their legal rights.